Azam Media finally gets licence to air local TV channels

Wednesday May 15 2019


By Alex Malanga @ChiefMalanga

Dodoma. The deputy minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Atashasta Nditiye, disclosed yesterday that Azam Media has received a multiplex operator licence, which will allow it to air local channels.
The deputy minister made the revelation in Parliament when responding to a lawmaker’s concern during the question-and-answer session.
His response came after the Nyamagama lawmaker, Mr Stanslaus Mabula, (CCM), sought to know the fate of the government’s ban on local TV Stations from broadcasting Free To Air (FTA) channels.
Reacting to the news, the Azam Media chief executive officer, Mr Tido Mhando, confirmed to The Citizen about the news and noted that the company was currently building transmission towers across 26 regions of the country.
“Very soon, the FTAs will be back on Azam decoders. As soon as they are back, one will be able to watch them even after expiry of their subscription fees while the Pay TV channels will disappear,” he said. In his primary question, Mr Mabula asked: “As far as the barring of local TV Stations from airing local channels denies Tanzanians the rights to access the information of what is happening in the country is concerned. What is the fate of this ban?”
Mr Nditiye responded that the government has welcomed the companies owning Azam, DSTV, Zuku decoders to apply for a multiplex operator licence that will enable them  to air local channels.   
“Azam Media has already picked up the licence and it is set to build the transmission towers, which will enable them to air local channels in seven months’ time,” he revealed. He said the companies, which own the decoders were stripped of the right to air local channels due to the nature of their licences. “Content dissemination through their decoders fall under international market system, which requires them to pay for the content,” said Mr Nditiye.